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by Shunzo Ohno

Jazz Trumpeter, Force of Nature w/powerful skills & creative original compositions, Inspirational, Energizing,and sensitive clarity
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
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1. Go On
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7:42 $0.99
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2. Historia De Un Amore
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3. Blacksmith in the Village / Mura No Kajiya
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4. Awa Odori (Japanese Folk Dance Music)
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6:55 $0.99
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5. Home
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6. Firefly
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7. Epic
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8. Bubbles
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9. Takibi (Small Bonfire)
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Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Considering the dramatic twists and turns of jazz trumpeter, composer and arranger Shunzo Ohno's life, it is little wonder that the producers of Japanese television show "Unbelievable" chose him as a subject. He has reached exhilarating heights, experienced unexpected lows and overcoming unbelievable odds, risen again to surpass even his own successes.

Born in Gifu, Japan, Shunzo began his musical training at age 13 on the trombone - the only instrument available in his school. He didn't begin playing the trumpet until age 17, partly inspired by the film "Boy with Trumpet." By age 19, Shunzo was the leading jazz trumpeter in Japan.

Already working as an accomplished composer and arranger in Japan, Shunzo's career hit high gear when he met the renowned bandleader Art Blakey. He toured with Blakey throughout the United States and settled in New York City in 1974 at Blakey's suggestion. During this period, Shunzo maintained a close friendship and working relationship with the bandleader while also working with Norman Connors, Roy Haynes and the Hip Ensemble while leading his own group. His original composition "Bubbles" was featured on Connor's million-selling recording, You Are My Starship, and became a hit single, attaining gold status. Today, audiences continue to request this favorite tune.

The compelling Latin energy in Shunzo's playing can be linked to his tenure with the celebrated Machito and his Afro-Cuban Orchestra, with whom he toured Europe and South America. During his three-and-a-half years with Machito, Shunzo recorded the Grammy Award-winning recording Machito and His Salsa Big Band (1983), which featured his dazzling solos.

Following his years with Machito's band, Shunzo joined one of his most influential inspirations, master arranger and composer Gil Evans, becoming a key contributor on tours, club dates, and recordings, including the 1988 Grammy Award-winning Live at Sweet Basil's. Shunzo made a total of four recordings with Evans, who remained a lifelong mentor to him.

In 1985, Shunzo returned to Japan with Super Sounds, a group that included jazz legends Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Larry Coryell. He performed with Super Sounds for two years, conducting separate tours with his own group and giving numerous sold-out performances. Later, in addition to recording with his mentors Shorter and Hancock, Shunzo joined Buster Williams' group, notably, appearing at the 1st International Jazz Festival in Moscow and continued to tour with his own band.

In between these impressive collaborations and projects, Shunzo also guested on recordings by David Byrne (Rei Momo), David Matthews (Digital Love) and Onaje Allan Gumbs (Dare to Dream).

In 1988, he was involved in a serious automobile accident, in which his teeth and lips were permanently damaged. Undeterred by the painful recovery process, Shunzo strengthened his resolve to find a new approach to his music and continue playing.

He returned to recording and touring, renewed by such meaningful performances as his appearance in the San Francisco Jazz Festival with Wayne Shorter in a tribute honoring the sax great.

Adversity struck Shunzo again in 1996, when he was diagnosed with life-threatening throat cancer. For three years, he underwent radical treatments to control the disease and embarked on the difficult road to recovery. His refusal to allow personal struggles and seemingly insurmountable circumstances to defeat him led Shunzo to develop his talent beyond expectations and serve as an inspiration to others. He has never stopped moving in that direction.

Shunzo has 13 recordings under his name, showcasing his skills as a trumpeter, bandleader, arranger and composer. His CD, Poetry of Japan (1999) was a result of his search for a pure voice with the traditional melodies of Japan. His latest recording, Home (2005), features an original composition commissioned for the acclaimed movie, "Fireflies, River of Lights" and "L'Historia de un Amore," dedicated to his beloved friends Pascual and Angela Olivera.

Among his accolades, The Universal Jazz Coalition presented Shunzo with the first Asian American Jazz Connection Music Award for his achievements in setting new standards. His fascinating life is the subject of a biography, "Trumpet of Hope" (1st edition in 2000, now in multiple editions, Ushio publisher) and a documentary, "Trumpet of Glory", released in October 1999. Fuji Television featured his story on the primetime show "Unbelievable."

Shunzo maintains a busy recording and touring schedule, using his formidable talent to influence the human heart everywhere.


Reviews


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ReNew review from All About Jazz

Tempo of Heart and Soul
AllAbout Jazz Review: Shunzo Ohno: ReNew Tyran Grillo By TYRAN GRILLO
ReNew marks the 16th leader date for Japanese trumpeter Shunzo Ohno, whose evolving proficiency and clarity of tone are matched by an emotional undercurrent all his own. Built around the theme of recovery in the wake of recent natural disasters, among them the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, this album fuses Ohno's diverse influences into one melodious canvas, across which no single brushstroke is wasted.
Each track sharpens a personal edge, with themes ranging from friendship and unity to family and ethnic heritage. Miyamoto Musashi, the 17th-century philosopher-samurai immortalized as Japan's most legendary warrior, the song, Musashi, is a grand prize winner of the International Songwriting Competition—and, from a technical standpoint, rightly so, especially in the present re-arrangement, boasting the beat science of tabla player Ray Spiegel over a firm bass line. The real jewel, though, is rapper George Yamazawa, who works through a complex psychological spectrum toward resolve with the swagger of a true wordsmith.
"Tairyo Bushi" is buoyed by touches from master percussionist Cyro Baptista. Added keyboard textures make for a retro sound palette, on which Ohno remixes this Northern Japanese folksong with due respect. Yamazawa deepens the heritage feeling in "Lea's Run," a song for one of Ohno's daughters. In this ode to kinetic youth, Yamazawa shines like a bird soaring over the rhythm section's soulful landscape, while Ohno wields silvery lines like talismans of paternal affection.
"Easy Does It." As also in "First Step" (another tune inspired by the bandleader's progeny), guitarist Paul Bollenback engages drummers Billy Drummond and Jerome Jennings in solid ether. But the title track's down-tempo turn is where the heart and soul are at. Bassist Ed Howard is given free rein in this atmospheric shape-shifter. The album's mainframe bassist, Buster Williams, offers up "Song for Sensei," the only non-Ohno tune of the set and which pays tribute to Williams's spiritual mentor Dr. Daisaku Ikeda with triumphant cool.
"Alone, Not Alone," penned in the immediate wake of the above-mentioned tsunami, begins with the solitary trumpet before massaging the band into a relaxed muscle of evocation. This is Ohno at his purest, playing with an intimacy surpassed only by the reprise of the title cut which closes out the album alongside daughter Sasha on cello.

Liebman Promotions

most influential trumpeter
Shunzo Ohno, one of the most versatile and influential trumpeters in modern jazz, presents ReNew, his 16th album as a leader. The spirited interplay of the musicians is captured on this live studio recording, and reveals the depth of skill and joy in spontaneity that is characteristic of Ohno's ensemble performances. One can hear the give and take of jazz dialog underneath the mercurial expanse of this recording.
With ‘recovery to discovery’ in mind, ReNew is a testament to those affected by natural disasters that have taken place throughout the world including the 2011 tsunami in Japan. ReNew injects elements of traditional jazz, hip hop, spoken word, and free jazz, creating a tapestry of modern jazz that is distinctly Shunzo Ohno. The album features nine tracks, including International Songwriting Competition award winners: “Musashi,” and “Lea’s Run”.
Shunzo Ohno’s experiences with Art Blakey, Gil Evans, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock cast an influence resulting with a force of anticipation and fresh vitality. ReNew embraces a diverse spectrum of generations, masterful interplay and interpretations of music. Each of the compositions, confront life’s uncharted circumstances both on global and personal conditions. This recording illuminates vigor, dignity, hope and freedom with a renewed spirit.

Sonia

Inspiring, full of energetic spirit, jazz for eveybody, the most universal
Shunzo Ohno has always been an inspiration. This time he creates jazz that has a universal sound. Anyone can listen to it and be inspired. His technique is outstanding but never gets in the way of a pure sound. All the elements of funk, jazz,tender hearted melodies,fierce rhythms are included. This recording is a treasure not yet discovered by the mass media.The personnel are incredible, Billy Kilson (drums) George Colligan (piano), John Hart (guitar), Ed Howard (bass), and Henry Hey(keyboards).

Masala

Wow!! This cd has it all, romanticism, funky jazz, colors from Japan and a unive
Wow!! This cd has it all, romanticism, funky jazz, colors from Japan and a universal sound that transcends all boundaries! The drummer, Billy Kilson has exciting energy, while Ed Howard the bass and John Hart the guitar intergrate rhythms and melodies. George Colligan is one of my favorite piano players and he really kicks on this cd. His tune, Epic, is explosive. Henry Hey on keyboars is terrific and he manages to paint rainbows and add his own magic overall. Shunzo is dynamic on this cd,. His range is so broad. You can hear the Gil Evans influence without him ever copying. His creativity on using Japanese songs and his new compositions have a visual quality and penetrating right to the heart. Congratulations to this group. Wonder why he is not getting the media attention. I consider this group to be a hidden treasure!